How did the Seven Years War lead to tensions causing the British colonies in America to seek independence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The part of the Seven Years War that occurred in North America is typically called the French and Indian War.  The French and Indian War helped cause the British colonies to declare independence mainly because it drove a wedge between them and the government in London.

After the French and Indian War ended, the British government was not in good shape financially.  The war had been very expensive.  The British government felt that the American colonies needed to help pay for the costs of the war.  The government felt that the war had helped the colonies a great deal and that the colonies had not borne their fair share of the costs.  Therefore, the government started to impose taxes on the colonies and also tried to enforce existing laws about trade more effectively so that the government could make more money off colonial trade.  The British did this because they felt that it was only fair for the colonists to help pay for the war.

The colonists, however, did not believe they should be taxed or that the existing laws should be enforced.  They had become used to “salutary neglect” on the part of the British government.  They were accustomed to being left alone and to not being taxed very much.  When the British government imposed taxes and tried to enforce laws more stringently, the colonists felt that their rights were being trampled.

When the British government tried to exert more control, the colonists became angry. When the colonists pushed back, the government became angry because it believed the colonists were unjustly resisting governmental control.  This eventually led the colonies to declare independence.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial